The Countess of Minto’s brush with Disaster

In 1851 two men pulled off a sailing feat few thought possible.   They had been the only hands on board the Countess of Minto when it vanished during a violent storm stranding the rest of the crew on a remote desert island.    Everyone thought the ship had foundered but four weeks later it sailed intoContinue reading “The Countess of Minto’s brush with Disaster”

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As Captain Emile Tonnessen saw the sheer granite walls of Chatham Island loom into sight, he knew his ship and crew of 12 men were in serious trouble.   Unrelenting gale force wind and high seas had driven his 913-ton iron barque Mandalay North-east for the past several days, and his chart showed that should heContinue reading “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”